Even though the medical field has made tremendous progress, there is still much to discover about cancer. However, we do know that there are several biological and environmental factors that can increase a person’s risk of getting the disease.
To help reduce your risk:
- Do not use tobacco of any kind. Smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer and chewing tobacco can lead to cancer of the mouth or throat.
- Eat five or more servings of fruits and vegetables each day. Foods from other plant sources such as whole grains and beans have many beneficial qualities as well.
- Eat light, lean foods. High-fat diets may increase your risk of cancer.
- Stay active and maintain a healthy weight. Obesity may be a risk factor for certain types of cancer.
- Protect yourself from the sun. Sun exposure is the most common cause of skin cancer, which is one of the most common types of cancer and also one of the most preventable.
Follow the recommended guidelines for regular cancer screening and self-examinations, which increase your chances of discovering cancer early. Screening should include your skin, mouth, colon and rectum. Men should also include prostate and testes screenings. Cervical and breast cancer screenings should be included for women.
Prevention through healthy eating, exercise and lifestyle habits are critical to lowering your cancer risk. Exercise is even beneficial during cancer treatment.
Beyond prevention, early detection is the next best thing you can do to protect your health. Today, there are a number of procedures and screenings available to assist in the early detection of cancer. For more information about cancer prevention and screening, please talk to your physician.